Torso: The Story of Eliot Ness and the Search for a Psycopathic Killer

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John F. Blair, Publisher, 1989 - TRUE CRIME
In the 1920s, Eliot Ness gained fame as the leader of the Untouchables, a small band of law-enforcement agents who disrupted the activities of Al Capone and his organization. By 1934, Ness had moved to Cleveland to become director of public safety. But it was there that he met his nemesis in the form of a serial killer. When Ness arrived in Cleveland, he quickly made his presence felt with a major overhaul of the police force and zealous raids to stop illegal gambling. Despite these early successes and some 2,400 officers at his disposal, Ness failed in his efforts to find the lone psychopathic killer whose trademark decapitations terrorized the entire city. Many of the 12 known victims were residents of hobo jungles and were so anonymous that only three of them were even positively identified. In 1942, the killings stopped as mysteriously as they had begun in 1935. But the damage to Ness's reputation as a guardian of the law and order was already done, and the stage was set for the downhill slide in his life. Set against the vividly drawn background of Cleveland during the Depression, the missing chapter in Ness's career and the story of the grisly serial killer make compelling reading.

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